23 April 2007

April 2007

Modern Oracle Newsletter

April 2007

"In life, the body is supple and yielding

In death, it becomes hard and inflexible

In life, plants are flexible

In death, they become dry and brittle

So stubborn people are the disciples of death

And flexible people are disciples of life” …attributed to Lao Tzu, and the Tao Te Ching

Pensieve

I figured this would happen sooner or later. Sorry to be late getting out the newsletter. Spring break threw me for a minor loop…but it also inspired an idea for today: adaptability. It is an idea that comes to us from both spiritual tradition and practical know-how. “Adapt or die!” - if you want to be aggressively Darwinian about it. There are all sorts of clich├ęs that advise us to stay relaxed and adaptable. “Take it as it comes” “Roll with the punches”, “Go with the flow” ,“There is more than one way to skin a cat” (eeewwwww…..)

The bottom line is a concept that is very Taoistic. The “Tao” (sometimes seen as “Dao”) in Taoism, The Tao Te Ching and so on is simply “The Way”…the natural adaptive way of things. Allowing things to unfold naturally, in its own way, is a basic tenet of this wise philosophy. Whether we express it in terms of Eastern Philosophy or Western Folk wisdom, it is still good advice for everyone. This seems especially true at holiday times when expectations can outrun reality. In the area where I live, it is below freezing and snowing and all the locals are cranky because it won’t be a warm sunny Easter. So what? Spring snows have a particular, delicate beauty all their own. Adapt. So hide your goodies inside…or learn to love frozen egg salad. It is just the way of springtime…relax, roll with it. When we live in the moment with out expectations, when we move with the natural flow of things, then there is less stress, less disruption, and things work themselves out in the end. No wonder adaptation is such a part of the natural world. It works. It’s happier and it’s healthier. Look at the vibrant new growth of spring. It is at its most supple. It is at its peak of growth and health. Sounds like something well worth imitating.

Holistic Health

As much as the hard – core bunny fans are disappointed about snow at their holiday, the hard-core allergy sufferers are thrilled about it! Spring pollen allergies are quite common this time of year, with tree and grass pollens peaking in March, April and May, depending on where you live. Allergies occur when the body identifies normal stuff…like pollen, dust mites and dander…as potentially harmful stuff, like germs. When that happens, special immunity cells start producing stuff like histamines…, which cause those oh-so familiar symptoms: itch, runny nose, water eyes, and so on and so on.

Mainstream medicine has several potions to offer, both prescription and over-the-counter. Of course, you should talk to your doctor about those. Generally, they stop the itching and watering stopping the histamines (hence the name anti-histamine for allergy medicine). Some newer medicines work with a different substance in this process called leukotrienes. But that is by prescription and again, something to talk to your doctor about.

But why do we have this case of mistaken identity in the first place? The science guys might argue genetics. Naturopathy has a different take on things.

Instead of viewing pollen and stuff (technically, called “allergens”) as triggering a ‘disease’ called ‘allergies’…the natural view is totally opposite. They view the pollen and allergens as actually triggering a HEALING process…a cleansing process. In the natural view, allergies occur when a body is over-enriched with food and accumulates too many by-products of digestion and / or has a buildup of environmental pollutants and toxins. The “nature doctor’ approach to allergies isn’t dry up the runny nose…it would be lighten up the diet, and go get more fresh air…not less. High fiber veggie foods with a reduction in rich foods and sweets are thought to help…in other words, eat lots of salads and spring greens. Who can argue with eating more veggies?

Herbalists have found some plants that can be as helpful in decreasing the symptoms of allergies as the mainstream medicines. One is stinging nettle. This herb is particularly rich in Vitamin K, so it should be used with great caution by anyone with any sort of clotting problem, bleeding problem or using any mainstream medicine that affects blood clotting or blood thinning.

A food solution that is helpful when taken over time is grapes, especially the grape seed extracts that are commonly available. It may not be a right-now relief, but over time, it can make allergy symptoms much less. I have both spring and fall allergies, so I take it year-round and it has made a huge difference for me.

Ayervedic medicine from India offers an interesting technique some people find very helpful. It is called a Neti pot, and it is just a small teapot-looking cup with a spout that lets you rinse your nose and sinuses with warm, mild saltwater. Many health food stores carry them, with instruction on how to properly use one. It helps by removing the problem allergens, reducing them to a point where they are tolerable even to people with sensitive noses.

Of course, you know I’m going to give you the usual speech: This is just for general interest, and not intended to diagnose or treat disease in any way. Consult your doctor and/ or an experience holistic health professional before using any natural or holistic health technique or supplement.

Spam in a Can: NEW LOOK FOR A MODERN ORACLE WEBSITE!

Found a cool new background that matches my business cards. The tarot website has a brighter new look – but all the same online discounts. E-mail, mail, and pre-paid phone readings are still the same flat rates, and the same low prices…$15 off of in-person rates.

FREE DREAM INTERPRETATION FOR THE MONTH OF APRIL!

I have an idea for a book manuscript about dream interpretation. If any of you would like to try out my idea, send a description of your dream, and any major things that happened in the day(s) right before your dream to: dreams@modern-oracle-tarot.com.

All I ask in return is that you write back to me and let me know what you think of the interpretation. I’ll use what I learn from doing this to write the book, but if it is published NONE of your information will be directly used without your permission. Everything you send will be kept absolutely private as always.

Tarot Meditation:

The Major Arcana card of Death…not what you would expect for a happy springtime newsletter, yes? But the meaning here is clear as a bell: renewal, they cycle of life.

“Out with the old, in with the new” is another way of understanding this card. If it wasn’t for the death of the seed, we could never have the birth of a new plant…or the production of many more seeds to come. If it wasn’t for the dormancy of winter, which is often used as a metaphor for death, we could never have the re-birth of springtime.

Anyone feel like breaking into the song “The Circle of Life” from “The Lion King” yet?

Many times when I do readings, there is such a look of panic when people see this card turn up. So much of that has to do with the Hollywood image Tarot had developed. It also has to do with the old-fashioned notion of fate. There is an image of literal doom that surrounds this card that was never a part of its original intent when the Tarot cards were developed back in the 1300s. It was very much meant to remind us of the circle of life, of death, but also the certain REBIRTH that goes with it, both literally (as seen in the natural world and the example of the seed) and in a metaphysical sense (such as the continuation of the spirit after death). In an odd way, this is a card of hope, not doom.

So believe it or not, this is a wish for you to have a season or life, rebirth, and hope.

Until next month…

Love and Light to all,

Ronda “Baihu” Snow

www.modern-oracle-tarot.com

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